I'm back in Detroit this weekend to visit my family. It's my brother and sister-in-law's baby shower, so I'll be an auntie to two boys, soon!
Stephen and Anna are expecting baby Oliver in February, and Danny and Lena have Sammy, the 6-month old cutie whose big eyes and chubby cheeks make my heart melt. I can't wait to meet little Oliver, who's sure to steal my heart, too.
Telling people at work this week why I was on PTO made me realize how fast time flies and before you know it, you're watching your family grow. As cliche as it sounds, I have clear memory of thinking my parent's backyard was the biggest playscape and when my brothers were punk teenagers reeking havoc on our suburban neighborhood.
Where my parents live is the only house I've known. We grew up in Dearborn, Michigan and went to local Catholic schools. Then my brothers moved out and I went away to college. But this house has always been home, and no matter where my brothers and I live, this is where we always come back to. It has the same smell of my mom's favorite candles, the same clock that scrapes against the inner dial at the top of the hour, and the same basket next to my dad's "big chair", full of his history books and month's worth of newspapers.
Since I've moved to Chicago, it's changed, too. My old room doesn't have a colorful, geometric bedspread or band posters hung with tacks; now it's a spare room with a soft, yellow and grey comforter and space for a crib.
The five of us aren't under the same roof and us kids have moved on. My parents kick around the idea of moving into something smaller once they retire, so eventually they might move out of this house, maybe even out of Dearborn, and that's okay.
Being home makes me also appreciate where my family is at this stage of the game, which isn't necessarily a room, or even a short car ride away. When you get older, what's important is coming back to the people that matter most, so seeing my family entering this next phase of life is all sweet and no bitter.